Flyers tough as nails

LANCE HORNBY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:25 AM ET

The Philadelphia Flyers had never lost two regular season home games to the Maple Leafs heading into last night, underlining how tough a town this is for the visitors.

Pat Quinn, who coached the Flyers in the 1980s, didn't mind re-telling the legend of how the Broad St. Bullies were born, soon after the 1967 expansion of the NHL.

"They had a big bench (brawl) against St. Louis and got beat up pretty badly," Quinn said. "They decided it was never going to happen again and they took on a different attitude about how to play the game.

"Around 1969, guys such as Bobby Clarke were coming in. We all remember what the 1970s were like (lampooned in the movie Slap Shot) and they were the leaders of the pack. That hard-rock image fit the attitude of the people who eventually became hockey fans here. They've maintained that size and rugged play priority. Things have changed with their current team, but that hard-nosed attitude is still there."

LUKE WHO'S BACK

Whether he re-signs in Toronto or not, defenceman Luke Richardson has enjoyed a return to the Eastern cities he knew in his younger days as a Leaf and a Flyer.

"It's like it's new for me again," said the 36-year-old Richardson, who rarely came to this conference the past few years with the Columbus Blue Jackets. "I think I'd been to Boston just once or twice in the past four years."

The ex-Flyer still had many friends stopping him to chat the past two days while the Leafs practised in the Wachovia Center and the old Spectrum.

"This building is similar to the ACC; the fans are great when things are going well, but they have little patience when they aren't," Richardson said with a laugh.

GLOVE STORY

Some of Jean-Sebastien Aubin's best saves with the Leafs have been made with his quick right mitt. The Montreal native was an avid baseball fielder as a kid, pitching, catching and scooping up at first base.

"I've been (utilizing the catching hand) pretty my whole career," Aubin said. "It just shows more now that I'm in (the spotlight) in Toronto. In Pittsburgh, no one really noticed those things."


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